How I Use Agile for Music

Agile for music
March 18, 2018 Jeremiah Craig 0 Comments

Coming into 2018, I had the hardest time figuring out how to accomplish everything I needed to do between organizing the Supporting Sound Showcase and releasing two singles a month.

I was so overwhelmed at the beginning of January that I nearly had a nervous breakdown. That’s when Brynna (my
fiancé), told me about what she had just started for a project management system at her work.

It was Agile.

Basically, Agile is a way for software developers to make progress on a product which will never be complete. Twitter is a good example of a project that will never be done. Little updates are made in short time spans in order to make long term progress.

Music is the same way for me. I won’t be done working with music until I die and with so much to do I needed something like Agile to help me make short term progress so I can get long term gains.

Brynna showed me a way to rank the importance of the projects I had planned for the first half of 2018.

The Set Up

She set up a sheet for me so I can discern what I should be spending my time on the most based on it’s time and cost and the value it could bring to me and my fans.

Each project has an associated value which gives it more priority. If you look at the screenshot below, you’ll notice that in the Cost section “Implementation Effort” has more value at 25 than “Risk” does at 10. This gives the rating of each project under “Implementation Effort” more importance than “Risk.”

Agile roadmap for Jeremiah Craig

Then I give each section a ranking of 1-5, 5 being the highest value or cost and the formula gives me a total score for each project. That score then gives me a project ranking which helps give me an unbiased picture into what I should be spending my time on.

Here is the formula for the Total Score in my Google Sheet

=sum(C4*$C$3,D4*$D$3,E4*$E$3)-sum(F4*$F$3,G4*$G$3,H4*$H$3)

And here is the formula for Rank

=rank(I4,$I$4:I51)

The Sprint

The next step after figuring out what I should be spending my time on, is breaking down the actionable tasks.

In Agile, this is called a Sprint.

My Sprint is a two week time span and I decide what I’ll be working on over those two weeks based on the priorities set out in my projects sheet.

It’s a flexible way to approach projects because if I want to focus on something else, I can change it up after the Sprint is done.

Two weeks isn’t that long but it’s long enough to where to can get a lot done if you plan well.

Take a look at my Sprint for this week.

Agile sprint for music

You can see that I have planned out 50 hours of time over two weeks since that’s the amount of free time I can commit after the hours I spend working an awesome digital marketing job at Kiterocket.

This sheet keeps me honest and organized every two weeks. I’ve gotten more done in the first two months of 2018 than I could have ever imagined.

This system works really well for me and my music and if you have a side hustle of your own, you might benefit from this as well.

It takes a little bit of time to set up and plan at first but it’s totally worth it.

Actually an Agile Hybrid

This isn’t true Agile through and through. Agile has many other aspects that is meant to help software engineer teams and since I’m running this thing solo and I’m not in software, I’ve chosen to leave those aspects out.

If you want to learn more about Agile in general as a project management style, the Wikipedia page is a good place to start.

Thanks for reading and if you’ve tried Agile, let me know your experience in the comments below.